It’s one of the hardest things to reconcile as we shift from staying home to be with our children to heading back to work. Our sense of self was very clear before children and then it suddenly shifts to being mother and now we are still mother but actually start to feel deep inside that we are more than mother. We have other things we want to contribute and do, to be the fulfilled and multi faceted human being we are.
But working out what that looks like can be very confronting. And yes, there’s even some guilt in there. Guilt that we should want more (shouldn’t we just be happy to be able to stay at home?) and guilt and that we don’t want to be with our young children all day every day (does that mean I don’t love them enough?) to guilt about not being the perfect housekeeper and even daring to consider external help (shouldn’t I be doing it all??).
It’s hardy surprising that going back to work for many women is just too hard, too much and too hard to work through. (And I would say, there are many women who don’t want to go back to work because they feel 100% fulfilled in motherhood – and full credit to them! For a long time I wished that I could just be perfectly happy at home. I certainly wouldn’t have experienced all the angst! There’s no judgment about going back to work and it is a very personal decision based on all sorts of very personal choices.)
If you do feel that there is more of you to explore and that might mean going back to work then it! Explore it, examine it, test it, try it on. There is nothing to lose and everything to gain. Even if you go back to work and you just don’t enjoy it and you realise that actually you would prefer to be at home, then that was a really valuable exercise to go through. There has been nothing lost and in fact, your own personal growth through the experience will be tremendous.
It’s important to see that you may not go back to being exactly what you were (in any respects) because you are a different person. You have life experiences (including having children) which have shaped you to who you are right now. Trying to imagine yourself going back exactly as you were, in the exact same scenario is probably not helpful because it is very unlikely.
This is your life and your journey to decide. Finding your place will be a series of experiences and learnings and these will continue to shape your perspective and self understanding. Yes, it can be confronting, hard work, frustrating, exhilarating and hugely satisfying but it absolutely worth the experience.
If you’d like to chat about where to start this process, reach out!